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ULM professor presents at philosophical and psychological conference in New Orleans

Published May 01, 2015

Dr. Jack A. Palmer, professor of psychology at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, presented his research as part of an invited symposium at the 107th annual meeting of the Southern Society for Philosophy and Psychology held in New Orleans in April.

The invited symposium was held in honor of Dr. Roger K. Thomas, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Psychology at the University of Georgia. Thomas, a biopsychologist who began teaching at UGA in 1967, served as department head for many years, and continues publishing research there today.

Palmer met Thomas at UGA while pursuing his Ph.D. Thomas served as Palmer’s major advisor, and together they conducted research on concept formation in animals and children.


Palmer said, “It was very enjoyable to honor Roger Thomas at the conference. His distinguished research and high level of teaching inspired me in my career, and many others feel the same way.”

Palmer noted Thomas’s long career in research which includes: studying the neural correlates of learning and memory; exploring brain and behavior models for concept formation in animals; and researching the history of animal psychology and behavioral neuroscience.

Palmer’s current research on altruism at ULM also involves concept formation, but within an evolutionary context for humans.

At the symposium, Palmer presented “The Dominant Role of Kinship in Human Altruistic Behavior”— a recent study at ULM that measured the relationship between four types of altruism based on the benefactor-beneficiary model utilizing a measure of altruism developed by Palmer. The study also compared results from an objective (behavioral) measure of altruism to self-reports.

The Southern Society for Philosophy and Psychology was founded in 1904 with the purpose to promote philosophy and psychology by facilitating the exchange of ideas, encouraging investigation, and fostering the educational function of philosophy and psychology.

Palmer received a B.S. in zoology from Clemson University, and received both an M.S. and Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Georgia. Palmer has taught at ULM since 1989.